As the horn sounded to end the Flyers' 2-1 loss to Dallas, winger Jake Voracek smashed his stick against the boards and heaved what was left of it down the Wells Fargo Center ice Tuesday night.
A few minutes later, goalie Steve Mason did some heaving of his own, throwing verbal jabs at his teammates for their mostly lifeless effort over the final 50 minutes.
"There was no desperation," said Mason, who kept the Flyers in the game with a brilliant 37-save performance. "It's tough to come in the room after games like that. We need to have a much better effort, and it just wasn't there. I'm embarrassed and I hope everyone else is embarrassed, too, because to play like that at home in a situation where we have to come up big . . . and we come up like that."
Third-line winger Vernon Fiddler took a perfect right-circle cross from Colton Sceviour and finished off a two-on-one with 6 minutes 10 seconds left, giving Dallas the win and handing the Flyers their third straight loss - and their fourth in the last five games.
The Flyers, outshot by 30-12 over the last two periods, have lost their last six games against teams not in a playoff spot. They fell nine points behind Boston for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot. In other words, the final 14 games will be meaningless - except for determining what position the Flyers get in a deep draft.
"It's been a problem for us for a little while here," winger Ryan White said of the team's inconsistent play. "We've got to be a desperate team this time of year. Teams that are desperate are teams that win."
Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen recorded his first win in 14 career decisions (1-10-3) against the Flyers.
Lehtonen was rarely tested after the opening 10 minutes, from which point Dallas controlled the rest of the game.
Mason made a series of eye-opening saves in the latter stages of the second period, stopping close attempts by Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, and Curtis McKenzie.
All told, Mason made 16 second-period saves, keeping the score tied at 1-1.
"He stood on his head," said defenseman Mark Streit, whose team was outshot, 39-26. "We had too many turnovers, and you can't give them to a high-skilled team like that. If it wasn't for Mase, we would have been down by a few goals."
Winger Wayne Simmonds said he could understand why Mason was critical of the team.
"We have to have everyone on board," he said. ". . . Tonight, it wasn't there, and I think Mase is right to say that. He stood on his head for us and gave us a shot, and we definitely didn't return the favor."
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead when defenseman Luke Schenn scored on a point drive with his brother, Brayden, screening Lehtonen 1:13 into the game.
About 10 minutes later, McKenzie threaded a pass to Brett Ritchie, who got behind Luke Schenn and beat Mason to the short side, knotting the score at 1.
Mason was the story of the second period, but Lehtonen made his best stop of the night when he denied Voracek with 6:25 to go in the stanza. Voracek was trying to convert a pretty feed from Claude Giroux.
Veteran forward Vinny Lecavalier said the Flyers' losses in Boston and New Jersey over the weekend may have had a carryover effect.
"A tough weekend with a lot of emotions," he said.